Calgary·Video

Take a look inside Calgary's new, and now 'weather-tight,' Central Library

The city is celebrating the next step in completion of the new Central Library in downtown Calgary. Take a look for yourself as preparations continue for the grand opening in fall 2018.

Exterior shell now complete as library construction moves inside

The city is celebrating the next step in completion of the new Central Library in downtown Calgary, which is expected to open in fall 2018. 0:42

The city is celebrating the next step in completion of the new $245-million Central Library in downtown Calgary as preparations continue for the grand opening in fall 2018. 

It's now officially "weather-tight," meaning the shiny new building near city hall is fully enclosed and the final stage of construction can begin.

Now the focus will be the interior — from flooring to shelving to completing the more than 40 meeting rooms. A process is now underway to select furniture and audio-visual equipment.

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      "We've even invited teens to try out furniture for the teen area in the new library," said Calgary Public Library CEO Bill Ptacek.

      The construction is being managed by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), which is overseeing several development projects in the East Village.

      "The fact that we've kept such a complex construction project on schedule and on budget is a real testament to the quality and commitment of the entire new Central Library project team," says Michael Brown, CMLC's president and CEO.

      "Our design team of Snøhetta and DIALOG, Calgary Public Library, the City of Calgary and our team at CMLC have seamlessly managed a robust and complicated construction program."

      Work began in 2014 when the LRT track that now runs under the new building was enclosed. Starting this spring, the roof was built along with an "innovative" curtain wall that allows light and heat into the building to allow for better energy efficiency.

      An exterior wall of the new central library. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

      Work is also underway so landscaping outside the library can begin in 2018.

      Susan Veres with CMLC says the recession has helped lower their costs.

      "The softer recessionary factors that we're dealing with in Calgary has meant some advantages to the project where we have been able to secure teams of people more economically, and materials," she said.

      Susan Veres is with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, which is managing the library construction. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

      "So we are actually seeing some reprieve in our budget. Construction crews also made significant progress in the challenging installation of the wood soffit archway that shapes the library's open outdoor passageway — a key design feature that creates a visual and pedestrian connection between East Village to the east and Calgary's downtown core to the west," the CMLC said in a release.

      The new library's archway allows for easy pedestrian access from side of the building to the other, without having to go inside. (Monty Kruger/CBC)